Predicting Preemies

Health

A simple new test for pregnant women can predict who will deliver early and who will not.

Amanda Smith, Haven’s mother said, “I tell people this is like a war zone, only this time it’s not my life on the line, It’s my little innocent child’s.”

Amanda, an Iraq and Afghanistan war Vet and NATO Medal of Honor recipient, gave birth to haven 100 days early, weighing just nine-tenths of a pound.

Amanda Smith said, “It’s about the size of a coke can.”

Haven is one of 450 thousand babies in the u-s born prematurely each year. For two-thirds of those deliveries, no one knows why.

Mira Moufarrej, Bioengineering Ph.D. Student, Stanford University said, “When people think about what tools an obstetrician has right now to look at a pregnancy, it’s ultrasound and that’s it.”

Now bioengineers at Stanford have developed a blood test that detects with 80 percent accuracy who will deliver early. Something that ultrasound cannot do.

Doctor Moufarrej said, “It tells you more about what’s going on in the process of building a baby and what might go wrong.”

The test looks at RNA molecules found in the mother’s blood.

“Looking at those seven types of RNA molecules, they’re higher in women who deliver preterm than full-term,” said Doctor Moufarrej.

The team hopes doctors will then be able to start treatments that will delay delivery. Haven spent the first 241 days of his life in the hospital, has had seven surgeries since birth, he’s on oxygen and takes 18 syringes of medication daily. But as his mom says, he’s a fighter.

Amanda Smith said, “I get to watch you stand up, smile, and give people hope.”

In low resource settings, a test to predict time to delivery has tremendous potential to impact women’s health particularly for disadvantaged women with limited access to hospitals.

Because a blood test is cheap and easy to use, it has the potential to complement ultrasound and expand access to good prenatal care.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Coronavirus by County

More Viewer

Latest News Video

LOCAL 3 TUESDAY'S WEATHER FORECAST 4/7/2020

Thumbnail for the video titled "LOCAL 3 TUESDAY'S WEATHER FORECAST 4/7/2020"

LOCAL 3 MONDAY OVERNIGHT WEATHER FORECAST 4/6/2020

Thumbnail for the video titled "LOCAL 3 MONDAY OVERNIGHT WEATHER FORECAST 4/6/2020"

Sculpture made for UPHS staff

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sculpture made for UPHS staff"

The Fire Station offering home delivery for their medical and recreational patients

Thumbnail for the video titled "The Fire Station offering home delivery for their medical and recreational patients"

Precious Metals 4-6-2020

Thumbnail for the video titled "Precious Metals 4-6-2020"

stocks 4-6-2020

Thumbnail for the video titled "stocks 4-6-2020"